ELBING — In a steady, cold drizzle, the Berean Academy Warrior soccer team opened regional play with a 10-0 win over Thomas More Prep-Marian-Ellis Wednesday afternoon at the Berean Academy field.
The game was called in the 51st minute on the 10-goal rule.
"We could have ended 10 minutes sooner, but I tried to play my bench guys in there late in the first half," Berean coach Russ Busenitz said. "In the second half, I went back to my starters. ‘Go play, play normal.’ I was a little concerned about the weather. It’s cold. I didn’t want to keep my players out there. You’re also concerned about field conditions. It’s easy to tear up a grass field like this when it continues to rain. It was good to end it like that."
"From the beginning of the season to now, we have changed into a completely new team," TMP coach Shawn Lawson said. "We actually started looking to like soccer players. We’re finding passes. We’re having very good looks on goal. We’re very young, but that’s what’s lacking right now. Here in a couple of years, we’ll be right back where we were, competing for state."
Jon Hoover led Berean with three goals. Braeden Templin scored two goals with an assist. Nolan Driskill scored two goals. Luke Stucky and Caleb Ketcham each scored a goal with an assist. Blake Timken also scored a goal.
Zach Brsicoe had two saves in goal for the Warriors. Rauley Anderson had one. Michael Pritchett had six saves in goal for TMP. Treighton Dunn had five.
The Warriors jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first half, scoring three goals in a 33-second span during the 18th minute.
Berean outshot TMP 20-2 in the half.
It took the Warriors a little over 10 minutes into the second half to end the game.
"It’s better than snow," Lawson said. "They came out here and played every single minute. It’s not what we were looking for. They’re great kids."
TMP ends the season 2-9.
Berean is 11-3-1 and hosts 10-7 McPherson at 4 p.m. Friday in the regional finals. McPherson advanced with a 7-0 win over Buhler in the semifinals.
"It will be altogether a different game," Busenitz said. "I know a little bit about them. They played a good schedule and beat a few quality teams. That will be a very competitive game for us. They have a couple of key guys up top. If we can possess the ball against them, and control the game to an extent, the better it will be for us. If we can play well in that aspect, it will be good for us. We have to finish the chances you get. Set pieces and set opportunities — those are great opportunities to score. If we can execute on those, I like our chances."